Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day of your life. Confucius
This quotation illustrates the importance of feeling at ease, accomplished and fulfilled in our professional undertakings.
Fitness training, whether in-home coaching, leading group fitness classes in a gym, or being a personal trainer in a fitness club, is not exempt from that ancient Chinese master's philosophy. Do you want to become a certified personal trainer, but pragmatic concerns keep you from taking that leap?
Do you have leadership capabilities? Are you able to motivate people, accompany them on their journey to fitness and work to improve the physical condition of future clients? This article will explain why you can and should join the ranks of those who dare to live their passion through work!
Marrying the Functional to the Pleasurable
- An ordinary career may involve lots of handshakings and wearing suits; not so if you become a personal trainer! Source: Pixabay Credit: 089Photoshootings
One could hardly call the profession of personal training drudge work. Indeed, you will find many more disgruntled people working in offices and shops; even in hospitals! When you work in an office, each day yields the same: you sit in front of your screen. You carry out more or less the same routine tasks, day after day, without hardly seeing the sunshine or smelling fresh air.
By contrast, a personal trainer's days are punctuated by students who are unique, with all having different needs, desires and physical conditions. You even have the choice of working indoors or outside: imagine being free to run through the park or even conduct an invigorating yoga session on the lawn!
If you have a strong desire to engage in personal fitness training, you already possess the most important asset every fitness instructor needs: you are motivated! Your passion for sport and maintaining a toned physique make you the perfect candidate to pass on your knowledge of a healthy lifestyle to the greatest number of health and fitness hopefuls.
Trainer, beware! Your excitement at propagating wellness could lead you to idealize the profession of fitness training, causing you to see only its positive aspects. When contemplating a career as a personal fitness trainer, the important thing is to stay grounded; to view the fitness industry objectively. Talking with seasoned personal trainers could help you understand some of the less visible – less desirable aspects of the fitness professional's experience.
What Does a Personal Trainer Do?
A personal trainer is a popular term used by many; what does it actually mean to be a personal trainer. A personal trainer, sometimes called a fitness trainer who educates, motivates and inspires their clients to reach their fitness goals. They work with a variety of ages, from young to elderly. The same goals for fitness goals can work with a variety of goals a person may have. These goals could be weight loss, flexibility, strength or anything else along these lines.
Personal trainer typically works with people one on one. However, it is fairly common for personal trainers to work with a group of people as well. They'll do everything they can to help their clients succeed. Personal trainers stay updated on all fitness and nutrition knowledge to provide the best information for their clients. During a training session, they'll compile a list of workouts to help them reach their desired goal. A trainer will be looking at intensity, form and motivation with each session.
You've most likely seen a personal trainer watching their client performing an exercise. It may not look like much, but a personal trainer is thinking and watching about many things. First and foremost with clients is safety. Yes, exercise can be a safe thing to do, but when you perform exercises incorrectly, it can cause injury. Any exercise can be dangerous when performed incorrectly. Next, a trainer is looking for intensity. They want their client to be working hard but not overdoing anything. Lastly, their encouraging when performing their exercise. If they want you to get 12 reps, they'll be motivating you to you complete it.
Trainers perform numerous things throughout the day. It's not only working with clients. It could be completing calls with potential leads, working with other staff members on club-related duties, or working on client programs for the next workouts. It can be mentally exhausting as a trainer. Working with clients all day for even 4-6 hours a day can be a lot. Being able to recharge is important as a personal trainer.
Overcoming Your Mental Roadblocks
You have competently led Zumba and cardio classes, group training in a gym, one on one resistance training, stretching or designed a workout targeted to muscle toning and sculpting. It is thus clear that your hesitation at obtaining your personal trainer certification is not related to your athletic prowess or skills.
Are you worried about being your own boss? This major difficulty has caused more than one potential fitness trainer in Canada(or elsewhere) to give up the idea of going independent.
Autonomy is a state that most people crave, yet revile.
To sort that conflict out, you should ask yourself – or, should you have little practical experience in such matters, discuss with a mentor:
- How will you secure clients?
- What legalities are there in starting a personal training business?
- What about time management?
Finding answers to these questions (and many others) will reassure you that going independent at the end of the day is not as insurmountable as first thought. For example, you may want to enrol in a marketing course to learn ways to attract clients and advertise your services. You may also enquire at the Municipality in your city to discover all of the legalities and formalities of running a personal training business.
Find the latest online teaching jobs here.
- Fortunately, stepping out of your comfort zone into a commitment to health and wellness is not life-threatening! Source: Pixabay Credit: Mohammad_Hassan
Certifications For Personal Trainers
Not every personal trainer was born mad for sports. In fact, quite a few discovered this thriving business later in life, after dissatisfaction with a traditional job, or even as a result of retraining after their old firm went bust. Most likely, those people carried on a flirtation with fitness for many years, and when the opportunity presented itself, they jumped aboard their fascination train.
Earning your fitness certification is your first step towards discovering autonomy. Embracing autonomy is in itself a challenge, especially if your entire career so far consisted of being an employee. Certifications aren't the only way to become a personal trainer, although they are the most common.
A lot of colleges across Canada offer a Fitness and Health diploma program. It'll teach you the basics of personal training along with everything you need to know about fitness and nutrition. It can be a great step for anyone new to fitness interested in working as a personal trainer. Another option could be enrolling in an Exercise Science degree program. It'll provide you with the guidance and information to work as a personal trainer. Having a formal education diploma or degree can be widely accepted in the fitness industry. Even some certifications in fitness require you to have the education.
It's not a necessary step. You can enroll in a certification course and work as a personal trainer. Formal education can just provide you with a better foundation of personal training knowledge to help your clients. There are lots of great personal trainers out there who only have the certification. One deciding which route to take, pick the answer that will help you the most.
Some certifications to look at that is widely accepted across Canada are the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and CanFitPro. We'd love to provide you with an in-depth version of both of these, but this article would be too long. So instead, do your research and find out which one is better suited for you. Both will allow you to work as a personal trainer in Canada.
On top of getting your personal training certification, most programs will require you to maintain continuing education. It could be a workshop, courses or a seminar. Continuing educations ensure you're staying up to date in the fitness industry. Don't look at them as something you have to do. Look at them as a chance to grow and learn.
Find out how you can make a difference as a personal trainer... Naturally, you could take your education to the next level by taking continuing classes to attain even higher levels of certification! Oh, wait: we're getting ahead of ourselves... Suffice to say that upheavals in your professional life are emotionally and mentally traumatic. Thus it is essential to prepare well for your future change of career.
One of the best ways to do so is to earn your personal training certification. Another way is to ask your family and friends to submit to one of your personal training sessions. Solicit their feedback; ask them to critique your methods and quiz your knowledge of exercise science.
With their support and help, you can refine your training methods even before working with any paying clients!
- Personal trainers work with a number of clients. Source: Ryan Snaadt, Unsplash
Stand Out from the Crowds!
Now you are convinced that health fitness is your next career path. You have finally taken steps to legitimize your business. Now, you should investigate all possibilities and niches of program design to find which one interests you the most. Of all the avenues to pursue in helping people attain their fitness goals, the most important consideration is: what are you most/best suited for?
Do you wish to focus your services on the physical preparation of a high-level, professional athlete? Or would you rather help combat our nation's obesity statistics by designing weight loss exercise programs and/or targeting youth fitness? Do you want to work 1 on 1 with each client, or would you prefer being a group fitness instructor in one or more fitness clubs?
Are you more inclined towards resistance training, using free weights, kettlebells and assorted gym equipment, or are corrective exercise and functional training more your calling?
Could you see yourself leading senior fitness programs? The answers to all of these questions depend on your training techniques and perception of need – yours and your clients'. Offering specific advice or ancillary services such as counselling on diet and nutrition could bring significant value to your proposed workouts.
Specializing as a personal trainer can be beneficial. Think about it like this: If you wanted to lose weight, would you visit the personal trainer specializing in weight loss or someone who works with the general population. You would always choose the person that specializes. Specializing also allows you to become the best in your area. Everyone will know to go to you in the area you specialize in. As you continue to work with people and learn more, you'll become the best person in that area of expertise. Finally, specializing allows you to step away from the crowds.
- Specializing can separate you from other trainers. Source: Sergio Pedemonte, Unsplash
Let Your Enthusiasm be Contagious!
Any exercise program is not just a matter of physical performance: a faster run, a gain/loss of pounds or a heightened endurance. Keep in mind that you are not just a matter of exercise physiology but an equalizer. It will be your job to educate your clients on how to put their minds on par with their bodies, called the mind-body connection.
The practice of sport is intimately linked to the practitioner's lifestyle.
The best coaches convey something broader than a proper approach to the sport. Indeed, it will be your job to pass on skills and knowledge that will serve your students far beyond the hour or so they spend in your company, working out.
The discipline and rigour you demonstrate in private training are actually the motivation for your clients! What could be more rewarding to find that a client under your guidance has developed a much more confident, committed and positive mentality, thanks to you?
One of the hardest parts of training is figuring out what works well for your client. oO course, this comes down to experience and your knowledge around the fitness goals. New trainers often make the mistake of putting someone on a program they would follow. New trainers know how to train themselves, but not necessarily someone else. Doing your diligence and using everything you learn will help your client reach their fitness goals. What has worked for someone might not work for the next client. this is why it's important to stay educated around personal training to serve your clients best.
A fitness coach conveys so much more than proper form and heightened performance: never lose sight of that fact.
- Talking with experienced personal trainers about every aspect of the business can help you achieve success Source: Pixabay Credit: Geralt
Seasoned veterans of sports conditioning can offer inspiring testimonials to anyone still wary of becoming a personal trainer. Take, for instance, Angela, who always had the soul of an athlete. In her early thirties, she began her career as a fitness specialist by teaching group exercise classes to tone legs, bums and tums.
To guarantee a steady flow of customers, Angela registered for a Level 3 certification program, which entitles her to work in gyms and health clubs everywhere in the UK. The choice of levels is complementary to your proven skill in athletics. After all, anyone can demonstrate flexibility, but not everyone can prove they understand the kinesiology behind it!
Here we advocate for continuing education, even though doing so may result in having an overall knowledge of many aspects of fitness but lack expertise in any one field or branch. Such was the case for 37-year old Hugo, former small business manager.
He had long been a fan of distance running and, in fact, conducted fitness workshops in his home for 2 years, firmly believing that certifying was only for those who actually work in the field of fitness education. As a result, he finally sat his Level 3 certification exams. Now, he lives his passion for running and living healthier, teaching others to do the same.
As with any fledgling enterprise, any coach just starting his/her personal training program will most likely reach and teach acquaintances, friends and family first but will soon discover that client base expand to include their friends and colleagues. The key to growing your business is to market yourself and your services effectively, avoiding making phenomenal prowess, performance, or endurance claims.
Looking back, Hugo believes that many of his fears and misgivings about starting his fitness business came down to uncertainty about leaving his familiar job and changing his life around.
These success stories in the UK are the same in Canada. It is possible to be a personal trainer. The beginning can be the hardest part o your career. You have to figure out your coaching style and have to find clients, but after you figure things out, you'll be well on your way to loving personal training as a career. Some people even choose to work as a personal trainer in their spare time. It's a great career choice that can allow you to work as little or as much as you want. It just depends on you.
Taking Care of Yourself as Personal Trainer
Once you finally hit that gym floor and start working, it's exciting, but it can get overwhelming. Working with clients on the floor, talking with members, marketing yourself, and anything else that is part of your day can be exhausting. As personal trainers, we're telling our clients to limit stress, drink water, eat right, sleep well, and work out, but are you doing this yourself? We can get caught up with our own work and don't follow the same advice we give to clients.
It can be hard to find the time to take care of yourself, but like we tell our clients, you can find the time. There are a few tips we can give you to help with the stress of being a personal trainer to continue to be at your best every time you work with a client.
Meal Prep - Making the trips to fast food places is easy, but it's unhealthy and gets expensive. So instead, meal prep one or two days a week to get your meals ready for the week. Planning ahead with your meals will ensure you're eating right.
Client Hours - Answering client questions every hour of the day and night is mentally exhausting. Set designated hours where you will answer client questions. Set a time where you can present in your work answering questions. It would help if you had a break from working.
Sleep - Early morning personal trainers are terrible with no sleep. have a bedtime schedule and stick with it. Functioning on less than 6 hours of sleep every night is unhealthy.
Exercise - Spending time in the gym all day and then working out on top of it can be a lot. Use everything you have learned and preach and make a program for yourself. Keep in mind the physical activities you do with clients each day.
- Remember to take care of yourself as a personal trainer. Source: Carl Barcelo, Unsplash
The Final Blow
- Design and instruction of any fitness program require far more skills than just the physical ones.
- Being passionate about fitness is a good start, but you will need education on managing a career as a fitness professional.
- And even to get over the fear of changing careers!
- Still, you should not let your passion to train override common sense or realism: consider all aspects of helping others in their fitness programs.
- While you may well be an avid sports fanatic, it takes marketing knowledge to package your services as a fitness trainer and find ways to relate to prospective clients.
If you are ready to master – or feel you have already mastered all of these aspects of a personal fitness business, it only remains for us to wish you the best in your endeavour.
We welcome you into the rarefied stratum of those who've chucked it all to live their passion!
Now discover more reasons to dive into personal training...
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